The Snipe Bloa

A great place to discuss various patterns and tying methods for wingless wet flies, Yorkshire spiders, Flymphs and other patterns tied with soft hackles.

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tie2fish
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The Snipe Bloa

Post by tie2fish » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:21 am

The Snipe Bloa appears as Pattern #30 (illustrated on Plate 6) in T.E. Pritt’s 1886 Second Edition of “North Country Flies”. He describes it as being “… a splendid killer” and advises that “… it is fished universally in Yorkshire and Lancashire.”

As for its origins, Pritt states that “It is Theakston’s Bloa brown, and is probably to be identified with the Light Bloa of Jackson.” These gentlemen both published fly listings in the mid-1800s (Michael Theakston’s “List of Natural Flies …” in 1853 and John Jackson’s “The Practical Fly Fisher …” in 1854.) However, the pattern appears twice on a seasonal listing of flies by Jonathon Pickard of Yorkshire in 1820, so it obviously had been around somewhat earlier.

In his book The North Country Fly, Robert Smith advises that the Snipe Bloa serves well as an imitation of the English Blue-winged Olive dun stage (a distinctly different insect from the North American Baetis family), and also works well when Common Yellow Sally stoneflies are about.

Pritt’s recipe and my version of the fly are as follows:

Hook: 0 (I have used a Mustad 94840, Size #14)
Hackle: Hackled with feather from under Snipe’s wing (undercovert)
Body: Yellow silk with a spare dubbing of Mole’s fur, but not sufficient to hide the yellow body
(I have used Pearsall’s Gossamer #5 yellow)

Snipe Bloa.JPG
Snipe Bloa.JPG (38.84 KiB) Viewed 194 times
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daringduffer
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Re: The Snipe Bloa

Post by daringduffer » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:41 pm

You have succeded in giving this a vintage look. That is a pretty hook.

dd
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hankaye
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Re: The Snipe Bloa

Post by hankaye » Sun Sep 02, 2018 4:10 pm

tie2fish, Howdy;

Thank you for another history lesson and a fly to finish it off. Good things
they are. As for the "sparseness" of your dubbing, were the mole still alive
he/she would be more then able to stay warm this winter.
Very well done sir.

hank
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tie2fish
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Re: The Snipe Bloa

Post by tie2fish » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:32 am

daringduffer wrote:
Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:41 pm
You have succeded in giving this a vintage look. That is a pretty hook.

dd
Thanks, Stefan. What I have not done is to elicit much of a response from forum members. So much for folks wanting to see more of the "old" and "historical" stuff ...
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letumgo
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Re: The Snipe Bloa

Post by letumgo » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:58 am

I need to pull out my snipe skin and look at the underwing feathers again. I'm surprised the hackle markings resemble a muted grizzly hen hackle, just with less barring. It's been a while since I looked at those hackles. In my mind, when I read "Bloa" I tend to picture a solid grey hackle.

Thanks Bill, for showing me what the "real deal" looks like.

Your dressing is delicate, like a natural insect. Mine tend to be "plump" in comparison...
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BrkTrt
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Re: The Snipe Bloa

Post by BrkTrt » Tue Sep 04, 2018 2:27 pm

I love the simplicity of this fly. Very effective.
Well done Bill.
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William Anderson
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Re: The Snipe Bloa

Post by William Anderson » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:33 am

Bill, it's obvious that when you decide to understand a pattern, we can take the results as a near perfect representation of the original as we're going to get. Like Ray, I have typically thought of the softer, duller tones associated with the term bloa, and have for many years associated the more reserved shades of primrose silk with these flies, but you are objectively correct in your reproduction. It will take some getting used to seeing the #5 yellow for this pattern. A beautiful effort here.
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